Five-sided Corinthian Capitals in the Mortuary Temple at El-Kurru

Earlier this year, I worked on an excavation in northern Sudan. The most amazing thing we found were a couple of rock-cut rooms in a mortuary temple a hundred yards from the pyramids of the royal cemetery. In the rock-cut rooms, there were columns, and in one of them, capitals of unusual design. My contribution to the excavation report was an analysis of the pentagonal capitals. The citation:

“New Excavations at El-Kurru: Beyond the Napatan Royal Cemetery: Five-sided Corinthian Capitals in the Mortuary Temple at El-Kurru,” Sudan and Nubia, 17, 2013, 54-6.

The article begins:

“One of the more unusual finds in the 2013 season at el-Kurru 
were two five-sided Corinthian column capitals in a rock-cut 
chamber of the mortuary temple (Reisner’s Ku.1500). There 
is no clear precedent for this design, although the forms fit 
within the greater corpus of Ptolemaic capitals.”

Here’s an idealized drawing of the capitals in question.

Leave a comment if you’d like a pdf offprint.

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